Are We Ready To Get Rid of the Headphone Jack?

Rumors abound that the iPhone 7 will not have a headphone jack. Is so, how will we connect our earbuds or headphones? Is this a step forward, or an annoyance?

Why is Apple doing this? Well, if you look at the current crop of iPhones you can see that the devices can’t really get any thinner with that audio port. Plus, that hole is a weak point in the whole system receiving a lot of stress from pulling, pushing, and moisture. It has been a problem since the Sony Walkman days.

If this happens, then there will most likely be two ways to listen to music or other audio from your iPhone with earbuds/headphones. The first will be a way that already exists: Bluetooth.

If you are thinking of what a drain on the battery Bluetooth can be, or how the quality suffers, or how hard it is to connect, well, you may be right. But you may also be thinking of older versions of Bluetooth. It is undergone a lot of iterations. We are currently on version 4.2 in the iPhone 6s. It is significantly better in all respects than older versions.

If you are thinking about your favorite pair of expensive headphones and how you won’t be able to use them anymore, well, don’t worry. You can always but a Bluetooth adapter for headphones for about $20-$40.

It is likely that there will also be a wired way to use earbuds and other headphones. The Lightning connector is sure to still be the main port of the iPhone 7. I predict that the earbuds that come with the iPhone 7 will connect directly to the Lightning port. In addition, I’ll bet we get an adapter that allows us to connect a headphone jack to the Lightning port. It could even be a splitter, allowing us to charge or dock the iPhone at the same time that the jack is in use.

Alternatively, the earbuds that we get could be Bluetooth. They could possibly even use a wireless connection that is not Bluetooth, but something related to AirPlay or AirDrop. The iPhone has a lot of wireless tech on and Apple may invent something with even better quality, battery use and reliability. But I haven’t heard anything to make me think they will do this.

So what do you think? Are you ready for an iPhone without an audio port? Would you prefer Bluetooth, or to connect your headphones through the Lightning connector?

Comments: 8 Responses to “Are We Ready To Get Rid of the Headphone Jack?”

    Bruce Lester
    3/10/16 @ 1:07 pm

    Hi Gary. I always enjoy your articles. I am not ready to get rid of the headphone jack. I already feel my iPhone 6 is too thin. Please give me a thicker phone that I can hold with a bigger battery.

    Tripp Frohlichstein
    3/10/16 @ 4:22 pm

    I agree with Bruce.

    cwwynn922
    3/13/16 @ 4:42 pm

    I really wonder about Apple nowadays and where they are going. All those Apple supporters who have purchased expensive earbuds and earphones now have to purchase bluetooth adapters to listen to their music on the iphone….really! Maybe its time to switch to something else. REALLY DISAPPOINTED!

    3/13/16 @ 5:01 pm

    Cwwynn992: we are just speculating and discussing here. Apple hasn’t done anything yet. As I mention, they could even include free adapters. Or, not do this at all. So maybe wait and see before you let yourself be disappointed.

    wizbang_fl
    3/15/16 @ 9:04 pm

    I could see that the lightning port also may be going away in the near future along with the headphone jack. If apple decided to adopt wireless charging the result could be a device without ports for normal use. They would of course have a recovery port with a screw cover or rubber plug. Why? Not to make the device thinner, instead to shield it from water, dust, and debris. As it is now I rarely use my headphone jack and having a device without any ports does sound very cutting edge Apple.

    Kevin
    3/17/16 @ 10:49 am

    I love good quality music so I encode everything as lossless. I also used a headphone amp to improve quality further. I was gutted when they changed the ports a few years back as it meant I couldn’t use my headphone amps DAC any more. Bluetooth/wireless sounds poor. To get quality it must be a wired connection but a proprietary link between my iPhone and my expensive headphones will mess the purity of sound up. It smells like a money making scam to get us to buy Beats iPhone headphones to me.

    Shana
    3/28/16 @ 10:51 pm

    Personally I’m not ready to give up the headphone jack. Some spent a lot of money on getting ready good headphones, and neither the Bluetooth nor the Lightning Cable options seem like good replacements for that tiny jack. I think I-Devices are plenty thin.

    Tom
    4/22/16 @ 6:56 am

    My phone connects to my car and my motorcycle via the 3.5 mm plug. It also connects to my patio speakers in that way. I hope Apple listens this time and keeps the jack. They made the decision to leave the DVD drive out of my new iMac too. I had to buy one separately. DVDs are the best way to share my iMovies on the big screens at my friends homes.

Comments Closed.